The Chicago Cubs (69-41) are streakin’ everybody! They’re winners of seven straight and that includes two straight series sweeps. Add that to the fact that they’ve just had two days off out of the last five, they’re starting a ten game home stand – four of which are against the second place St. Louis Cardinals – and they get one more day off next Monday, before the final four games of this home stand. If there was ever a perfect time for the Cubs to run away with the division, now is that time.
The Cubs are taking on a foe that, at least on paper, they should have no problem with. They opened the season playing the Angels in Anaheim and swept that two game series with ease.
Game times and broadcast info
- Tuesday, August 9 at 7:05 PM CDT on WGN
- Wednesday, August 10 at 7:05 PM CDT on CSN+
What to watch for
- The Cubs take on two pitchers in this series who both have ERAs over 5.00. There have been times this season where the Cubs have had problems with soft throwing pitchers. They need to come out early and establish their offense in this series. Patience at the plate will be important, as always. Look for the Cubs to make both pitchers work in the early innings. I’m happy if they force both guys to throw at least 20 pitches in each of the first two innings.
- John Lackey has given up one run or more in the first two innings of his last six starts. If John can establish himself early, working his fastball for strikes, he should be able to get off to a good start. Watch closely to see if he’s able to break this unwieldy trend.
- Jason Heyward is batting .158/.217/.237 over his last 22 games. He’s hitting .272 on balls in play over the 2016 season. That’s his lowest BABIP since 2011 with the Braves. His batting average that year was .227. This series is a good opportunity for Heyward to break out, especially against the mediocre pitching he’ll be going up against. Will he finally break out?